Special Note: I have not forgotten about Warped & Twisted, I promise. I have half the next chapter written, but I have also got a few one-shots in progress and this story popped into my head. I'm bouncing around between a few stories right now, and life is getting in the way, so posting is slower than normal, but I promise I have not forgotten and it is still being worked on. Promise!
Disclaimer: Not my show, not my characters, not my actors… but it was my dreams, so I lay claim to that and that alone!
A/N – So, funny story. I have been on a writing hiatus, though not by choice. It just wasn't happening for me at the moment. Very busy life right now, getting ready for the baby and everything but then, one night after much 'hinting' by kokoda2007, I had a dream. A Supernatural dream, my very favourite! Hehehe Anyway, I woke up from this dream more than a little freaked, though really the dream itself wasn't all that scary. A bit strange, but I blame the pregnancy hormones! LoL Anyway, I got up and started writing. Now, the beginning of this story wasn't in the dream, my fingers just kind of took over on me there. So this chapter has lots of angst and stuff, and it does lead into a hunt and the hunt is where the story begins really. But there are lotsa issues throughout, and they begin right here.
Summary: Bit of angsty, hurt Sam, gotta love that! But, this time… well, I cant say without giving it away, but I hope you like it.
Warning: For those unlucky people who haven't seen any of season three yet, there are some spoilers in here I think. Maybe more spoilers for season two than anything, but there are references to three. Anyway, just be warned that you read this at your own risk of spoilers. I was, up until recently, way behind on season three since every time I tried to watch it on TV I'd fall asleep on the couch before it started! Pregnant thing, anyway I'm now caught up again and able to stay up long enough to watch it, only to find out that the next episode we get will be it for a while! Bummer! This was supposed to be a warning about spoilers, right? Whoops! Okay, be warned! There are spoilers to season two, especially late season two, and some of season three.
Never On A Sunday
Chapter One: Storm Before The Storm
Dean, immediately worried when he couldn't find his little brother, was pacing the room trying to figure out what to do next. His finger itched over the button on his phone, hanging between number one and number two – the buttons programmed to speed dial Sam or Bobby… he was getting worried enough that he wasn't sure which one he was about to call. He'd already called Sam a dozen times at least and there'd been no answer. Dean was sure he couldn't have gotten far, he had only left him alone for a few minutes while he checked them into a room for the night. But last time he'd lost Sam he'd walked into a diner and vanished into thin air…
Fear, no… panic was starting to overwhelm Dean. He knew the Yellow Eyed Demon was gone, he'd shot him himself, but that didn't mean there weren't still evil bastards out there that wanted to get their hands on his brother. How could he be sure that the threat had passed? Really passed? And the deal was breathing down his neck. He didn't want to die… he didn't want to go to hell… he didn't want to leave Sam behind to have to fight off whatever threat was coming his way. And he didn't want to give up his chance to have a life of his own.
He would never stop looking out for Sam, but now he knew he could do both… he hoped. But soon it would be too late.
"Sam, where are you?" Dean muttered through clenched teeth. He already checked everywhere he could think of. The parking lot was dark and deserted, all the cars that had been there were when they'd pulled in were still accounted for, which meant Sam hadn't heisted someone else's vehicle like he'd been known to do in the past. That meant that wherever he was he had gotten there by foot, Dean decided, pushing the possibility of a supernatural lift from some pissed off demon. Which left the diner, the pharmacy, the gas station, the deli and a handful of other stores he had already checked again.
And the bar… Dean remembered seeing a dingy little bar when they had driven passed, it had been set off the road a little and he hadn't checked it the first time! He'd considered his need for a drink after a long drive, but it wasn't somewhere Sam would frequent except under extreme duress or to drag Dean home, so he'd forgotten about it until now. He'd refused to let himself go in there when he'd first seen it and pushed it to the back of his mind, citing the fact that Sam had been acting a little off lately, like there was something bothering him and Dean had hoped to figure out what. Could he be in the bar?
Dean shook his head. No, it just wasn't Sam… but then again, he'd checked everywhere else so maybe…
Dean grabbed his keys and headed out of the room, a new determination in his step even as his heart pounded with fear. He'd been looking for Sam for two hours, plenty of time for him to get into trouble…
…and if Sam was at the bar and he'd gotten hurt somehow, Dean was going to feel really stupid for forgetting about it. Sam had sunk a few over the years, after all, he should've considered the possibility.
Dean set off across the street, pocketing his phone with the decision that if Sam wasn't getting pissed in the dingy hole, then he'd be calling in reinforcements within minutes.
When Dean finally found Sam, he was sitting – which was a relative term to say the least – on a stool at the bar with a half empty bottle of whisky in his hands. He looked… he looked like hell, Dean decided, certain he had never seen Sam like this before. Drunk yes, but like this? Not just drunk but… destroyed. Sam looked like he was toasting the end of the world, like a little boy who'd lost his puppy, like…
Dean shook his head of all the comparisons that ran through his mind and moved to the bar at the opposite end from Sam. He banged on it to get the bartenders attention, and the big man, mostly bald but who looked pleasant enough, turned to face him.
"The kid at the end of the bar, how longs he been here?" he asked, keeping his voice low.
"A little over two hours I'd say," the man told him. "Long enough to drown half a bottle of whisky. He gave up using glasses about thirty minutes ago. I'd stop serving him, but I don't need to… he ordered the whole bottle and set up shop. Still gotta settle the tab before he goes, if you're planning on dragging him out of here."
Dean nodded, pulling his wallet out. He was about to find some money inside when he saw Sam struggling to get up and just about falling over. Shoving his wallet back into his pocket again he raced to his brothers side and caught him before he hit the floor, pulling him back up to sit on the stool.
"Take it easy there, tiger," Dean told him, holding Sam's head carefully in both hands to get a better look at him. His eyes were bloodshot and droopy, a clear sign that he was well and truly gone from the sober land he normally frequented. He was shockingly pale, but what Dean hadn't been prepared for was the trickle of blood down one side of his face. "Sam, what the hell have you been up to?"
Sam pulled away from Dean as if frustrated at the interruption and scooped up his whisky bottle, taking a long drink while Dean sighed and stood up.
"Hey," he called to the bartender again. He headed over, handing Dean a beer. Dean accepted it, taking a mouthful as relief at just finding Sam took him over. "What happened to his head?"
The bartender shook his head and sighed.
"Darn fool kid got up to take a piss about forty five minutes ago. Remembered to ask me to keep his bottle for him, but forgot to walk through the doorway. He smacked his head on the wall, fell over and hit his head on the corner of a table on his way down," the bartender explained. He shook his head and looked back at Sam. "I thought he was holding his booze alright, but within about half an hour I realised he's not a typical drinker."
"What do you mean?" Dean asked.
"You, I'd believe, would down a few whisky's and be fine… but this kid wasn't here for a few quiet drinks, he was here on a mission," the bartender explained. "I don't know what his reasons were, but he was drinking for a reason just the same… he was here to get drunk. People who have a reason to drink, shouldn't. But then again, I shouldn't complain, he didn't cause a fight or anything, he just sat – sort of – in that seat and drank. And drank and drank and drank…"
Dean shook his head and pulled up a stool. He knew he had to get Sam back to the room to sleep it off, but he wasn't quite ready to make the trip just yet when he knew he'd have to pretty much carry him. Sam hadn't really looked at Dean yet, hadn't said anything to him or acknowledged his presence. Dean wasn't even sure that Sam could see anything beyond the whisky bottle he toyed with in his hands.
And cheap whisky too, Dean sighed. That stuff would melt a hole in your stomach and give you a blinding headache the next day that Sam wasn't going to forget in a hurry. He thought tequila was bad the next morning, whisky was going to feel worse than death.
Dean pulled his wallet out again and handed a fifty over to the bartender. He could see the man was calculating the change already, but Dean shook his head.
"Keep it, man," Dean told him. "For looking out for my brother…"
The bartender nodded and glanced once more at Sam.
"He's going to be in a world of hurt in the morning," he sighed. "I would've sent him home or something, but I didn't know where he was staying or if he was with anyone. Wish I could've done more."
Dean watched the man walk away and knew he was genuine.
"I'm pretty sure I've told you once before that if you disappeared on me again I wouldn't be looking for you," Dean said to his brother, staring at his beer while watching Sam at the corner of his eye. Talking to a dunk man, even Sam, was like dealing with a rabid dog… you just don't stare them in the eye until you've established its safe. Well, Dean decided, it would never be wise to stare at a rabid dog, but he decided the analogy still held some water.
He hadn't been prepared for Sam to answer him.
"I'm sorry," he slurred, a dark emotion edging his voice that Dean didn't immediately recognise.
Dean ignored it for a minute.
"You scared the shit out of me, Sam," Dean told him, turning to face him at last. "I didn't know where you were… you just disappeared. I leave you alone for five minutes and come back and you're gone! What the hell were you thinking?"
"I…" Sam glanced at him and then back at his hands as his fingers tore at the label on the bottle before him.
"Sam," Dean shook his head. "Last time you disappeared, I lost you… I mean, I really lost you… you died, man, how do you think it felt to turn around and find you gone again? I thought… well, what was I supposed to think?"
Tears were in Sam's eyes now, Dean could see it and he hated himself for it. Sam was obviously upset about something, trying to drown away something more than Dean could see and he wasn't helping matters by having a go at him about his disappearing act. Still, Dean couldn't help it. He had been really scared, more than ever before. He thought that watching Sam get stabbed, killed right before his eyes, holding him in his arms while the life left his body was more fear that he would ever feel… but he hadn't been prepared for the fear he'd felt when Sam was missing this time, or when he found him so deflated and drunk that Dean was sure that there was something more going on than Dean could understand.
Sam was going to have to talk to him eventually, because there was no way Dean was going to figure this one out on his own!
"Come on," Dean decided, getting to his feet and pulling one of Sam's arms over his shoulder, looping his other arm around Sam's waist. "Bed time for you, big guy."
Half way back to the motel, Sam began to talk a little, though not much of it made sense.
"I shouldn't have bothered," Sam murmured, focussing on putting one foot in front of the other. "I don't know why I bothered."
"Bothered with what, Sammy?" Dean asked, sure this was the beginning of some revelation and hoping he was prepared for the fallout.
"To be normal," Sam told him. "To have a life away from hunting…"
Dean didn't say anything, he wasn't sure there was anything he could say to that. The one thing Sam had always wanted was a normal life, and Dean had never really understood why that desire had overruled Sam's training and made him leave the hunt altogether, he would be lying if he said he didn't want the same thing. For Sam, sure, but also for himself. He wished they could be normal, he wished they could just hang out and sink a few beers without so much pain and horror in their lives that it caused them to down half a bottle of cheap whisky. He wished they could play pool for fun instead of for money…
"Why not?" Dean asked finally, not sure it was the right question but hoping it would at least keep Sam talking.
"Coz," Sam muttered, taking another swig of whisky. Dean wished he'd gotten rid of the bottle back at the bar, but had cared more about Sam's location than more booze at that point. When Sam tried to pull away from Dean a second later, however, and dropped the bottle he couldn't say he was sad to see it shatter over the ground.
What a shame, he thought bitterly. He realised that, as irrational as it was, he was blaming the bottle for Sam's current condition.
"Coz why?" Dean asked, grabbing a firmer hold on his brother and walking them a little slower now. Sam was glancing over his shoulder at the ruined bottle with a pout on his face that Dean hadn't seen since Sam had dropped his ice cream cone when he was five. "Coz why?"
"Coz all it does is get the people I love killed," Sam muttered again, his attention finally on the journey again.
Dean's heart skipped a beat at that and knew that there was a lot more to Sam's current angst than he realised. This was years, no, a lifetime of pain about to tip him over the edge and Dean wasn't sure he was prepared for that. How could he be?
"I've never been normal, have I?" Sam asked, glancing at Dean a moment. Dean winced as Sam's breath hit him full in the face but tried to hide the reaction from Sam. He wasn't sure why he bothered, since he was pretty sure that Sam wasn't even aware he had feet right now let alone anything that was happening around him. "I've never had a normal life…"
"I know you haven't," Dean told him sadly. "I wish you could have…"
"But I haven't… even before Mom died… I was never gonna have a normal life, I was already a freak. I was born a freak," Sam told him. "And Mom died because of it… because of me."
"Sam, we've been over this, that wasn't your fault."
"I know," Sam muttered again, his voice full of anguish. "But it doesn't change the fact that it was true… and after she died I was the freak who'd survived… and then I tried to have a normal life, go to school… Jess… I was gonna marry her, Dean. You know I was shopping for rings? I was only a couple of weeks away from being able to buy the one I'd picked out… I was going to propose… and she died."
"I know she did, Sammy," Dean told him, looking at the motel. It looked so far away and Dean wished that it would hitch up its skirt and meet him half way so he didn't have to drag Sam all the way. "I'm sorry…"
"Then Dad… he died because of me, because of what I am."
"No, Sam, he died because of me."
Sam shook his head.
"No," Sam disagreed. "If I hadn't been the freak, he wouldn't have had to. None of this would've happened. He died to save your life, but he wouldn't have had to… and then, I finally meet someone I… you know… someone… since Jess, I haven't… I couldn't… but she was different, she was… I couldn't ignore her, I couldn't ignore how I felt and then, the minute she gets involved with me… I killed her, Dean."
"Madison," Dean realised, reading through all the hitches and stammers in Sam's voice to get to the meaning behind the words. "I know, Sammy…"
Sam shook his head.
"No," he whispered. "You don't… I walked in there, she was looking up at me with tears in her eyes… I was barely holding it together. I kissed her, I held her in my arms… she said… she said… and then I shot her. I killed her. All I wanted was to hold her and cry and I couldn't do it. I turned and walked away, I didn't want to see her like that anymore."
Dean swallowed the lump rising in his throat painfully, realising that Sam had never talked about what had happened in that room with Madison. Dean knew the basics – Madison, werewolf, gun, bullet, Sam, trigger, bang… but he'd never considered their last words to each other. He'd hoped that she could be the normal life that Sam had always wanted, even as he hunted… and his own heart had broken when he'd realised the whole thing was some cruel joke aimed to hurt his little brother. Again. His brother loved harder than anyone he'd ever known, and it always seemed to lead to heart break. How was he ever going to survive that?
The door was finally within reach and Dean pushed it open, pushing Sam inside ahead of him carefully. He let Sam drop onto his bed and set about taking his shoes off, deciding that Sam would be comfortable enough in his jeans and a shirt. He tugged off his jacket and tried to push him onto his pillows.
"And now you," Sam added, his voice barely above a whisper.
"What?" Dean asked, stopping at his brother's words. "What about me?"
"You're going to die, Dean," Sam told him, staring right into Dean's eyes. Dean would have sworn that, right then, Sam was sober in spite of the whisky that made up most of his blood volume. "You're going to die because of me, because I'm a freak."
"Sam, no," Dean sighed, wishing he could shove a pair of socks into his brother's mouth to shut him up but knowing that Sam would still be able to talk even then. When he wanted to talk there was usually no stopping him. "I'm not going to die because you're a freak. You're my brother, and no way I was going to let you die… we're going to figure this out, everything's going to be fine, I promise."
"How?" Sam wanted to know. "How are we ever going to figure this out? You cant help me find a way to save you – or you wont."
"No I wont, because if I do you're going to die and then what the hell am I going to do?"
"You? What about me? What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to get up the morning after you die and live my life knowing where you are? Knowing you're there because of me? Knowing you're going to suffer for all eternity… because that's what hell is, Dean," Sam told him, anger flashing in his eyes. "How is everything going to be okay?"
Dean sighed and shook his head.
"I don't know, Sam," he admitted. "All I know is you were dead… I lost you, I failed you, and I couldn't leave it like that. I had to do something."
Sam looked away.
"Sam, I…" Dean hesitated, not sure he could finish his thought. Sam looked back at him and he knew he didn't have a choice anymore, he'd have to finish it or he'd face the Sam Winchester Puppy Dog Eyes for the rest of his life. "I'm sorry. I just couldn't stand to lose you and whatever time I have left I'm going to make sure you're safe. No matter what… please don't get mad at me for this."
"I'm not mad at you," he admitted. "I understand why you did it, and I'm not sure I would've done anything different… I don't know… but I can't let you go to hell, Dean. I wont… I'm going to figure this out."
The words barely out of his mouth, and Sam finally laid himself down on the pillows. Within minutes he was breathing evenly and Dean knew that he was asleep. He just hoped that this time it would be peaceful sleep.
Something had been bothering Sam for days now, and Dean had wished he could find out what it was. Now he knew, however, he wasn't sure he wanted to know. He knew that the deal he had made wasn't just to protect Sam and so far he had managed to avoid thinking about it. He had managed to pretend, even to himself, that he had made that deal as a heroic gesture, saving his little brother once again against all odds… Bobby knew the truth, he realised. He saw more than Dean gave him credit for.
Dean settled back into his chair and watched his brother sleeping with the knowledge pounding in his head that he had made the deal out of a desperate need not to be alone, to keep some of his family with him even just for a little while. To keep his brother with him because he was the only thing Dean had ever lived for. Losing Sam was worse than dying, worse than anything Dean could ever have come up with, and he had to fix it…
Only now, he realised, that in doing so he was dooming Sam to live through what Dean couldn't. Losing a brother, living without a brother. And, in Sam's case, he'd have to live knowing that his brother was in hell, had sacrificed himself. Dean had struggled with that after their father had died, it had torn him apart almost as much as John's final words to him had.
Dean kept his eye on Sam for as long as he could, but finally his lids began drooping and he felt himself nod off. The last thing he heard was Sam murmuring something.
"I'm sorry…" Sam muttered in his sleep.
Dean fell asleep with the realisation that the apology wasn't for disappearing and getting drunk… it was something a lot darker and deeper than Dean had realised, and it was something he had doomed Sam to live with the rest of his life.
Sam awoke the next morning with a headache that made him feel like his head would just fall right off his shoulders, roll into traffic and get run over by a semi and that it would be an improvement… knowing his luck, however, it would merely encounter a little old lady on a push bike and he would never be put out of his misery.
Pulling himself to a semi-sitting position, Sam realised his life was about to get a lot worse as his stomach churned painfully. The back of his throat burned with bile and the bitter taste of bad whisky when he pulled himself out of the bed and stumbled toward the bathroom. He could hear the shower running, but he knew he didn't have time to wait for Dean to finish his shower. Sam felt the vomit rising in his throat and as he burst through the door it was already filling his mouth and making the long trek from his six foot four frame all the way down to the toilet before he even had a chance to drop to his knees and close the distance.
"Whoah, Sammy, privacy!" Dean cried in shock when the door swung open. He stuck his head out from behind the old shower curtain and saw Sam kneeling in front of the toilet, retching painfully and sympathy overtook the initial shock. Dean shifted uncomfortably, not sure what to do in this particular situation. "You okay?"
Sam made a sound to indicate how stupid he thought that question was but didn't pause in his attempt to deflate his body right into the bowl from the inside out.
"Stupid question, I get it," Dean agreed, stepping back under the stream of water and hurriedly washing off the last of the soap. He switched off the water and quickly grabbed a towel to wrap around his waist before stepping over to Sam. He laid one hand on the back of his brother's neck and felt fire burning through his fingertips. Sam was hot, really hot, and Dean wasn't sure why. It could just be from the physical effort of being so violently ill, but Dean knew that bringing that heat down could only improve the situation so he grabbed a smaller towel from the shelf and running cool water over it before laying it on the back of Sam's neck. "I'll be right back, Sammy."
Sam clung to the toilet bowl as if it were the only thing stopping him from falling down an endless abyss and wished that the onslaught of cramps, vomiting and fever would just leave his body and hurry up about it. He had been drunk before, he had been hung over before, but this was so much worse than anything he had ever experienced.
When Dean returned a minute later, Sam was relieved. Not just relieved that he was now wearing jeans and a shirt, but relieved just to have him there. He hadn't slept well during the night, he had been plagued by dreams about what it would be like to live without Dean, what Dean was going to go through. The dreams about what hell was like were so vivid that it left Sam wondering how he could possibly know anything about it. How did he know what it would be like? How did he know… any of it? But he had woken convinced that he had seen hell, been there, experienced it and it left Sam with a lot more questions than he could ever hope to find answers for.
Dean laid his hand on Sam's shoulder gently.
"You feeling okay?" he asked, his voice sounding hollow.
"Like… well, being hit by a truck would be more fun," Sam told him, his voice hoarse from the strain his throat had been through. He hesitated, wanting to ask Dean about his dream but knowing that he couldn't lay that burden on his brother. Especially after…
"You ready to get up?" Dean asked. "You couldn't possibly have anything left."
Sam nodded and accepted Dean's help in getting to his feet. He flushed the toilet and winced as the noise pounded through his brain. Why whisky? Why had he ordered whisky?
He washed his hands, ran cool water over his face and sipped some from his hands to wash out his mouth. He wasn't sure he could handle the thought of toothpaste just yet, that would have to come later he decided. He took the towel from around his neck and wiped the still cool cloth over his face before stumbling out of the bathroom ahead of Dean.
He fell onto the bed and groaned.
"So," Dean began, sitting on his own bed and staring across at Sam with obvious concern. "You want to tell me what last night was all about?"
Sam glanced at him and sighed.
"Not really," he admitted, rolling onto his side when his stomach protested to the position on his back as it pulled on his muscles. "Just stupid I guess."
Dean shook his head.
"You were going on about some stuff, Sam," Dean reminded him. "Stuff about… well, stuff that's happened over the last couple of years, stuff about… you know, about the deal… you want to talk about it now you're sober?"
Sam shook his head and closed his eyes, hoping that would put an end to the subject. He heard Dean get to his feet and hoped that he'd won the battle. When a blanket was pulled up over his shoulders, he was sure it had worked.
"You get some more sleep, little brother," Dean told him. "We'll get going when you're feeling up to it."
Sam muttered a response.
"Don't want any upchuck in my car, after all," Dean added, the smirk he must've been wearing on his face sounded clearly in his voice. "I'm going to go and get some breakfast, and I'll be back soon. I wont bother asking if you're hungry."
The door closed softly behind Dean as he left, and Sam moaned in response. Memories from the night before were flooding his mind and he knew that more had come out in his drunken stupor than he had intended. Dean knew what it had been about, and Sam knew Dean didn't really want to talk about it… but he felt he had to. After all, they didn't have much time left and Dean would want to make sure that Sam was okay.
But he would never be okay again, Sam knew, if he didn't save Dean from this deal. There had to be a way.
Sam pulled himself to sit against the headboard, moaning as the movement sent a new wave of nausea through his body. Pushing it aside, he grabbed his phone and hit the speed dial for Bobby.
"Hey Bobby," Sam greeted the older man as he heard his voice. "How's things?"
"I should be asking you that, Sam," Bobby answered him gruffly. "You boys usually call for a reason, after all… is Dean okay?"
Sam sighed. Bobby Singer knew too much. He was one of the few people that could read him and his brother. He saw straight through them.
"Dean's fine," Sam assured him. "He's off getting breakfast."
"And you?" Bobby asked, suspicion in his voice.
"Bobby, how much do you know about crossroad deals?" Sam asked him.
"Not a lot," Bobby told him. "I mean, outside the usual… they're binding, people usually get ten years… you onto something?"
Sam shook his head to say no before realising ho useless the gesture was.
"No," he admitted. "I just… I had this dream last night and it's kind of getting to me. I need to find a way to get Dean out of this deal, Bobby. It's not a question anymore, it's not a possibility… I have to get him out. I have to. There's no other option. My brother can't go to hell, Bobby, he just cant."
He heard silence at the other end of the phone and knew that Bobby was considering where to go with the conversation. Sam was trying to keep his voice even, to keep the overwhelming fear and guilt out of his voice but he was certain that Bobby could still hear it.
"Sam, I don't know if there is a way… I'm sorry, I really am but there's just…" Bobby hesitated. "I know it's not what you want to hear, but I'm not sure there's anything we can do. Short of opening the gates to hell and hoping Dean climbs out like your Dad did, and even then that would let out hundreds of demons again… he'd still be dead, Sam, and I know that's not what you want."
Sam knew Bobby was right, and he knew that Bobby hated to tell him that but Sam had always been able to rely on Bobby for one thing: honesty. He would always tell him what others were too afraid to say.
"Bobby, please," Sam pleaded. "There has to be something. I mean, Dean got someone out of a deal once before, but the demons really want Dean's soul so I don't think there's anything they're not willing to do. Maybe we could just… I don't know, there must be something."
"I've been reading everything I can on the crossroads demon, but I've never heard of anyone getting out of a deal before… I mean, aside from that one time. But I guess if its been done, it can be done again? I don't know how, and there's certainly nothing we can give them that they would want more than Dean… except…"
"It's not an option, Sam," Bobby told him. Sam knew what Bobby was talking about and he let it go, knowing there was nothing to be said about it and storing the information as Plan B. "I've got some more texts coming in the next day or two, I'll keep reading. If I hear anything, I'll call you."
Sam nodded. Another futile gesture, he knew, but he didn't bother to correct it.
"There's something else, isn't there," Bobby stated, patience wearing thin.
"Maybe," Sam admitted. "Have you ever died before? Even for a minute?"
"No," Bobby answered immediately. "Come close, but never actually died. Why do you ask?"
"It's nothing," Sam assured him. "Just wondering."
Sam sighed again. He knew that he had to talk to Bobby about it, particularly since there was no way he was ever going to get away with staying quiet about it now. And if he didn't talk to Bobby, Sam was almost certain Bobby would ask Dean about it, and Sam couldn't risk that.
"I just wondered if you'd ever heard of any legit experiences after death," Sam explained. "Like what they saw? Where they went? Stuff like that…"
"Why you asking?" Bobby asked.
Sam shrugged. He seemed to have given up on verbalising all his responses.
"Well, there've been the classics. You know, the bright light and everything, but I personally think those are a crock. I've never heard of anyone dying for as long as you did and surviving it… if you can put it that way," Bobby told him. "Why?"
"This dream I had," Sam explained before he could stop himself. "It was just so… vivid, so real, I just wondered if maybe it…"
"Maybe it wasn't a dream?" Sam offered lamely.
"You think you're remembering something from when you… died?" Bobby asked carefully. Sam was sensitive about the subject. It had raised issues with him that he couldn't even begin to make sense of and so it usually ended up with him shutting down and refusing to talk about it.
"I don't know, maybe?" Sam admitted.
"What did you dream?" Bobby asked. The silence at the other end of the phone told him he had already pushed too far. The young Winchester didn't want to talk about the dream, he just wanted to know if it was possible, or what others had experienced. "Okay, look… why don't you guys head over here? Sounds like you could use some down-time."
"No," Sam told him. "We have a hunt. Some creepy town not far from here is supposed to be haunted. Kind of a Dudleytown kind of a place. Anyway, we're going to swing on through and see what we can find out."
"You be careful, Sam," Bobby warned him. "Places like that are better left alone. They're notoriously haunted, but they also attract all kinds of nasty things. You can't go in there thinking you know what you're going to find, because you wont. There's no way of knowing what you're going to find."
"I know that, Bobby," Sam told him. "I gotta go, Dean will be back soon."
"Okay, Sam," he agreed. "You call me anytime, okay? And stop in after this hunt."
"We will," Sam assured him before hanging up. He leaned against the pillows, a little more comfortable with the knowledge that Bobby had some more texts coming in. Maybe they'd be able to figure this out after all…
Maybe they could save Dean.